Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Dec 2009 22:16 UTC
Mac OS X Late last night (CET), we reported on the story that the VLC project needed more developers for the Mac version of this popular video player, or else the Mac variant may disappear. Just about every website out there reported on this issue, but it turns out it all got a bit exaggerated (on the internet? Surely you jest...). We spoke to VLC developer Pierre d'Herbemont to clarify the issue, and they've also put up a wiki page about the so-called demise of the Mac version of VLC. He also detailed what, exactly, they meant by "Apple is blocking us".
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RE[3]: Qt4 Interface?
by segedunum on Fri 18th Dec 2009 14:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Qt4 Interface?"
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

That article of Joel's is often quoted, and indeed is probably accurate for most projects. But consider it's central example - the abandonment of the old Netscape code in favour of what eventually became Firefox.

It's a bad example to cite. The reason why Firefox had to take a completely new direction was because of that disastrous decision by Netscape over version 6, or what should have been version 5. That pretty much finished them and the browser off in that incarnation to the point where Mozilla had no real choice.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Qt4 Interface?
by sbergman27 on Fri 18th Dec 2009 14:31 in reply to "RE[3]: Qt4 Interface?"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

The reason why Firefox had to take a completely new direction was because of that disastrous decision by Netscape over version 6, or what should have been version 5. That pretty much finished them and the browser off in that incarnation to the point where Mozilla had no real choice.

The mistake of deciding to rewrite from scratch was made long before Netscape 6. Netscape 6 was a desperate attempt to get some new Netscape... anything... out before the brand was completely forgotten, and all marketshare for Mozilla/Netscape was lost. Netscape 6 flopped (and badly) because the rewrite was taking *way, way* longer than expected (Surprise!) and wasn't anywhere near baked yet.

The fact that 11 years after the foolish decision was made, FF is just now clawing its way back to the point that IE only has about a 3 to 1 lead on it makes it an excellent example of the problems Joel is referencing.

Note to people who seem a bit confused: Firefox was not a rewrite of Mozilla. It was a strip-down and streamlining of Mozilla. The stupid mistake was in throwing out so much of Netscape's mature and tested code back in 1998 and 1999... long before Phoenix/Firefox.

Edited 2009-12-18 14:44 UTC

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RE[5]: Qt4 Interface?
by unapersson on Fri 18th Dec 2009 16:41 in reply to "RE[4]: Qt4 Interface?"
unapersson Member since:
2005-07-19

Note to people who seem a bit confused: Firefox was not a rewrite of Mozilla. It was a strip-down and streamlining of Mozilla. The stupid mistake was in throwing out so much of Netscape's mature and tested code back in 1998 and 1999... long before Phoenix/Firefox.


It was mature and tested but struggled to support CSS. Even the earliest buggiest betas of Mozilla and Netscape 6 had superior CSS support to IE6. The rendering engine was solid, most of the problems came with the decision to render the UI with XUL rather that sticking the new rendering engine in a more conservative UI.

They could have released Netscape 5 based on the Netscape 4 codebase, an alpha did appear at one point and it was an improvement on 4, but it could have done little more than keep the Netscape brand limping along.

They still did not have Microsoft's ability to stick their browser on every windows desktop which is the thing that really unseated Netscape. If it wasn't for that they could have kept with 4 until 5 was ready. Netscape might have had 80% of the market at one point, but that was a large percentage of a much smaller market.

It also would not have moved web standards forward at all, just created another browser to support with kludges.

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RE[5]: Qt4 Interface?
by segedunum on Sun 20th Dec 2009 00:58 in reply to "RE[4]: Qt4 Interface?"
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

The mistake of deciding to rewrite from scratch was made long before Netscape 6.

Yer, that's why I mentioned Netscape 5. To skip a release number completely to try and give the impression that things hadn't ground to a halt tells you everything you need to know about ths whole episode. Netscape might have been led to the toilet by Microsoft, but they ultimately pulled the chain.

Reply Parent Score: 2